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In an attempt to make its mark on the global tourism map, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has upped its marketing and promotional activities on international platforms to increase foreign tourist inflow into the state.

MTDC, which organised Diwali event in 2013 at Times Square in New York to promote Maharashtra and received overwhelming response, has decided to visit Times Square again this year on September 20, 2014. “We have realised the tourism potential of our state and we plan to use it as a major growth instrument to fuel the economy. Last year’s event was a huge success and it was very fruitful in promoting the state internationally. We look forward to boost Maharashtra’s distinctive feature of being a 365-day tourist destination for both regular and business travellers as we visit Times Square once again this September,” Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra stated.

Shedding more light on the event, Jagdish Patil, Managing Director, MTDC said, “The event will showcase Maharashtrian food, dances, arts and crafts, fashion shows, photo booths with ethnic outfits, dahi handi-mallkhamb and other attractions. There will be orchestrated laser light shows and fireworks on giant screens. The event will have performances by top names from Bollywood.”

With over 350,000 pedestrians visiting Times Square daily, the event offers a greater opportunity to showcase the tourism potential of the state to a global audience. The event will be publicised widely on digital, television, radio and print media in the US. It is imperative that the whole world knows about the beauty of Maharashtra, stated Bhujbal and said, “Be it summer, monsoon or winter, Maharashtra with its diverse topography, climate and tourist attractions is a destination that is visited all year round.”

Adding to this initiative, MTDC has opened its first international office in Tokyo to lure tourists from Japan and other neighbouring countries. Talking about the Tokyo office, Patil said, “It is very important to make our presence felt in the Asian countries. This is a huge step by the tourism board that is set to offer us a great opportunity to easily connect with tourism players and international travellers.”
The Tokyo office was inaugurated by Sanjay Deotale, Cultural Affairs Minister of Maharashtra, at the Wakayama Prefecture, Wakayama Tourism Federation (WTF).
Responding to MTDC’s initiative, the WTF is expected to open an office in Aurangabad. Both parties are also going to coperate on other fronts including financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency for the Phase-III development of Ajanta-Ellora Caves complexes and an agreement between Ajanta Visitor Centre and Wakayama World Heritage Centre to boost bilateral tourism and conserve these heritage sites.

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